BOOK REVIEW – Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big ProblemCrazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short book and a quick read, but don’t be deceived. Your toes will be stepped on! I think DeYoung does a great job of blending scientific research, biblical principles, and anecdotes to make his case.

I think we are all too busy for our own good. But I appreciate (and am attacked by) the fact that he points out: maybe it’s not that we’re too busy, maybe we’re just busy with the wrong things. In today’s world it’s so easy to waste away our time on social media, YouTube, or Netflix and feel like we’ve actually accomplished something. We waste time at work scrolling through our Twitter feed and then we spend time at home catching up on work emails.

No matter what your walk of life – whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a CEO, a pastor, or a plumber – this book is bound to punch you in the gut but also offer hope. DeYoung addresses common culprits in our busyness – pride, expectations, priorities & boundaries, parenting, screen time, lack of rest & time off, and entitlement.

It all boils down to this. We were created to do work, to share in God’s creative process. We were also given the need to rest, relax, and recover. There are times we need to work, like Martha (Luke 10), and there are times we need to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, like Mary. Our devotion to Christ should be our highest calling. Time is the one resource we all have in equal supply, so let’s focus on the things that matter most by embracing God’s rhythm for our lives.

Find it on Amazon

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What I Read in 2018

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
-George R.R. Martin

Every year I like to track the books I read. It’s always interesting to look back and remember all the authors and stories that have journeyed with me on yet another trip around the sun. Here is my list of books and authors from my 2018 list along with some highlights and recommendations.

[books in RED are stories I read to my 8yr old son, books in BLUE are ones I’m still working on, books with an * were audiobooks]

  1. David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. *A Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  3. Magnus Chase: Ship of the Dead, by Rick Riordan
  4. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by CS Lewis
  5. Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr
  6. The Silver Chair, by CS Lewis
  7. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  8. Unashamed, by Lecrae
  9. Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr and Adreas Ebert
  10. *Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
  11. *Superfreakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
  12. The Last Battle, by CS Lewis
  13. Prince of Fools, by Mark Lawrence
  14. Charlotte’s Web, by EB White
  15. *I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
  16. The Liar’s Key, by Mark Lawrence
  17. Reviving Old Scratch, by Richard Beck
  18. *Star Wars Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig
  19. *Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt, by Chuck Wendig
  20. The Wheel of Osheim, by Mark Lawrence
  21. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxbe
  22. Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence
  23. *Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End, by Chuck Wendig
  24. Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch
  25. The Day the Revolution Began, by NT Wright
  26. The Sacred Enneagram, by Chris Heuertz
  27. Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
  28. Unarmed Empire, by Sean Palmer
  29. *Bloodline, by Claudia Gray
  30. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
  31. Lost Souls (Frankenstein #4), by Dean Koontz
  32. I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing-Brown
  33. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, by Eoin Colfer
  34. The Path Between Us, by Suzanne Stabile
  35. *Grant, by Ron Chernow
  36. The Prodigal Prophet, by Tim Keller
  37. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green
  38. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
  39. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  40. Artemis Fowl: Eternity Code, by Eoin Colfer
  41. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by JK Rowling
  42. Everyone Always, by Bob Goff
So, this year I’ve developed a love for audiobooks. It started last year, but I really enjoyed them a lot this year. Nine books on my list were audiobooks. These are great for turning on while I’m out running the trails every week or when I’m doing the dishes. The Star Wars audiobooks have amazing production value. It’s like listening to a movie. They’re kind of like the old-time radio shows, with sound effects and background music.

I also have found that I much prefer physical books to ebooks. I appreciate being able to pull up a book on my iPad through Kindle or Overdrive, but it’s not as enjoyable for me as reading a physical paper book.


Here are what I would consider my top books on the year in both fiction and non-fiction reads.


I Am Malala is an autobiographical memoir by Malala Yousafzai. The now-twenty-one-year-old Oxford student from Pakistan dared to stand up against the Taliban and was nearly assassinated at the age of 14. Her story is an amazing testament to the best and worst of humanity.

I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing-Brown is an eye-opening look at racism and bias in the US, especially among evangelical church-goers.

Grant, by Ron Chernow is an extensive look at the life and times of Ulysses S Grant, hero of the Civil War and 18th President. I’m still working through the audiobook, as it’s 38 discs with a 48-hour runtime (!), but what I’ve heard is absolutely amazing. Grant was one of the truly good men of his day. Many wanted to fight to end slavery, but Grant wanted to fight for equality and full citizenship for people of color.


An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green, feels like an instant modern classic. It’s at once both an intriguing, fun sci-fi thriller AND an in depth analysis of our internet-celebrity culture and an outrage-driven news cycle. But what I got from it was an optimistic take on what the internet could/should be if we let it unite us instead of dividing us.

Dracula is a classic for a reason. Bram Stoker was ahead of his time with this book. It could have been debuted last week and would be every bit as thrilling and captivating. Honestly, it took me a couple of tries to really get into this book, and I’m so glad I finally did. The whole book is comprised of “found” materials – letters, journal entries, news articles, telegram correspondence. But some of the scenes are absolutely gut wrenching and terrifying. If you like vampire novels and movies, go back to the source with this one.

Mark Lawrence has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors. Last year I read his Broken Empire trilogy. This year, I made it through his Red Queen’s War trilogy, which takes place in the same world concurrently with the Broken Empire books. It focuses on different characters on a different quest, and it brings in elements of Norse mythology. If you are a fan of medieval fantasy, you need to check out Mark Lawrence. The Red Queen’s War trilogy includes Prince of Fools, The Liar’s Key, and The Wheel of Osheim.

What are your favorite books you’ve read this year? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to connect with me on Goodreads.

11 Great Enneagram Resources

You may have no idea what I mean when I talk about the Enneagram. Or you may have been getting to know the Enneagram for a while now. Whether you’re a complete beginner or more advanced, I want to share some resources that I have found really helpful over the last couple of years. Whether you would rather read books, listen to podcasts, or watch online videos, I’ve got you covered.


1) The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
This book is by far the best introductory primer on the Enneagram. It gives a great overview of what the Enneagram is, how to use it, and a basic description of each type. You will be tempted to skip straight to the number you think you are, but you can’t fully understand your number without knowing the other eight numbers, too. I recommend getting a physical copy of the book so you can share it with your spouse, family, and friends. You’re going to want to share it when you’re done, I promise!

2) The Road Back to You Podcast with Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The podcast makes a great supplement to the book. Ian and Suzanne use this platform to explain each type more in depth and to interview people of each type – celebrities, authors, musicians, pastors, and more. It’s always a great time with these two.

You are not very likely to discover your dominant type by simply taking an online assessment. It’s always recommended to thoroughly research each type to discover which one describes you the best. But if you’re on the fence between two or three different numbers, this assessment can help narrow it down for you.

4) Sandals Church, “A Series Called YOU”
Pastor Matt Brown of Sandals Church in California recently gave a sermon series exploring each of the nine types from a biblical perspective. You can find these on YouTube. Here’s the first one in the series.


5) The Sacred Enneagram, by Chris Heuertz
So you know your type. Now what? Heuertz leads us on a journey to transformation and deeper spiritual growth. Heurtz’s own life experience and knowledge of the Enneagram is truly inspiring. He challenges his readers to use their knowledge of their type to develop contemplative prayer and meditative practices.

6) The Path Between Us, by Suzanne Stabile
I’m currently reading this new release, so I can’t give a full review. But I know it’s worth recommending. Stabile is a relationship expert, brilliantly explaining how the Enneagram types relate to and work with each other.

7) The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert
This is nearly the literal textbook for studying the Enneagram. This is not for the casual novice or first time reader. It’s a beast of a book to get through. But the depth of knowledge and wisdom contained within the pages make it well worth the effort for those who are willing to put in the work. Rohr is truly one of the greatest Enneagram masters of our time.

8) Typology Podcast with Ian Morgan Cron
After completing their Road Back to You podcast, Cron and Stabile went their own ways. Cron started up this podcast that picks up where The Road Back to You left off. It’s still and interview-based podcast exploring the uniqueness of each of the nine types. Typology assumes the listeners have a working knowledge of the Enneagram in order to take us deeper into the types.

9) Sleeping At Last Podcast
Singer/Song Writer/Musician Ryan O’Neal produces music under the name Sleeping At Last. O’Neal has been captivated by the beauty of the Enneagram in recent years and has undertaken a project to write and record one song for each of the nine types. On this podcast he plays the song, details his writing process, and explores each type with the help of his friend Chris Heuertz (author of The Sacred Enneagram).

The Enneagram Institute offers a ton of great online resources, like articles, type descriptions, and assessments. It can serve as a helpful reference guide in keeping it all straight and learning more about the nuances and subtleties of the Enneagram.

11) Casey McCollum
McCullom is an Enneagram teacher and trainer who hosts workshops and coaching sessions for people across the country. He has a great online presence – Facebook and Instagram – and is always sharing helpful bits of wisdom and advice. He is definitely worth the follow.

12) Enneadog on Twitter
This is a Twitter account that describes the different Enneagram types through Dog GIFs. It’s as wonderful as it sounds. Give them a follow!

What would you add to this list? Are there any other Enneagram resources you’ve found particularly helpful? Share them below in the comments.

Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hank Green’s appropriately named debut novel “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” is a marvel of our time. The book is at once a fun, thrilling sci-fi story about aliens making first contact. At the same time it gives a stark look at the realities of the modern world. It seems like an attempt to answer many questions, chief of which are 1) What could legitimately happen in the world if a sentient alien race made first contact with us on planet earth? and 2) What does it actually do to a person to be suddenly thrust into the spotlight of fame and fortune in the age of the internet? I can think of no person better equipped to answer these questions than Hank Green.

The story is well-paced, being told in an after-the-fact first-person account by the main character, April. HG’s character development is every bit on par with his brother’s (John Green). April and her friends Andy, Maya, Miranda, and Robin are an adult Goonies as they strive to unlock the mysteries of the Carls. Honestly, the characters and their quests remind me a lot of Ernest Cline’s book “Ready Player One.” There are a lot of similarities. I’m not sure if that was on purpose or coincidental. But if you enjoyed RPO, then you will really like AART.

The characters are likable and relatable. They are all of us. Well, all of us young adults/”Millennials” at least. The plot moves along at a pace somewhere between comfortable and suspenseful. It never really drags nor seems like too much too quickly.

What I appreciate the most is the honest handling of the real world divisions facing our society. In the story people essentially choose sides. April wrestles with an Us-vs.-Them attitude throughout most of the story, and it ultimately changes her into the person she never wanted to be. Most of all I appreciate the fact that HG points out the pros and cons of each opposing viewpoint. Neither side is completely vindicated and neither side is entirely wrong. We must pull together as a society and learn that lesson before something worse happens.

It’s all to eerie that a month after this book comes out there were bombs mailed in packages to current and former political leaders in this country (USA). An arrest has been made. No injuries were reported. But we still don’t know the full story or the motivations behind this attempted attack. The political climate of the book and of real life pushes people to the extremes. Any political extreme can be dangerous. It’s time we learn our lesson. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing can help teach us.

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Summer Reads

This is the list of books I have read this summer so far in order from the bottom up. Jesus Manifesto was definitely my favorite. Fearless and The Christian Atheist were somewhat similar in scope and content, but both worth the read. Jesus Wants to Save Christians does a good job of capturing the Exodus themes throughout the Bible. And The Happiest Baby on the Block was an interesting read in preparation for our child on the way.

The only question is what to read next? I’m kinda thinking I need to read more Bible before reading more books about the Bible.

Under the Overpass

I just finished an amazing book titled Under the Overpass. It is the story of two Christian college students who decide to drop out for a semester and live on the streets of 5 different US cities for 1 month each. The book is actually written by one of the two guys, and it simply chronicles their journey.

Life on the streets is rough, but most people, including myself, have no idea just how messed up life can get. As Christians, we are supposed to be the ones feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. We are supposed to be the ones meeting the needs of our fellow humans who are suffering from poverty, addictions, mental illnesses, whatever. It was an eye-opening book in the fact that they visited numerous churches and encountered many Christians, but the place where the homeless, poor, and hungry should be able to seek refuge was the very place that turned its back on them (for the most part).

I would suggest every Christian (especially ministers and leaders of any sort) to read this book. It has changed my outlook on the important things in life. It has given me ideas for my ministry as well as for when I get back to the states. There is so much more that we Christians could, and should, be doing. We shouldn’t have to rely on the government to do the same job that Christians are called to do. In fact, we shouldn’t even rely on our congregations to use the money we donate to give to the poor and benevolence programs – for the most part the money does not go towards those causes. We should take initiative on ourselves and help people in the name of Christ.

I pray that all Christians will take this to heart no matter what the outcome of the election might be.